Memphis starter Nick Greenwood shut out New Orleans for 6.1 innings and hit a two-out, two-run double in the second inning as the Redbirds won the series opener Monday at Zephyr Field.
The Redbirds banged out 13 hits. The Zephyrs’ offensive woes continued; they were held to four hits.
The loss was the fifth in a row for the Zephyrs (42-53) and seventh in eight games. It was also their eighth consecutive loss at home, their longest slide since 2009. Memphis (49-47) ended a four-game losing streak after having been swept at Iowa.
“We’re scuffling,” Zephyrs manger Andy Haines said. “We just have to show some toughness, dig in and it will turn around.”
The only run against Greenwood (8-3) came on a one-out homer in the seventh by Brady Shoemaker.
Jeremy Hazelbaker led off the second with a home run against Z’s starter Justin Nicolino (5-6), giving the Redbirds a 1-0 lead. With two outs, Dean Anna grounded to Z’s shortstop Austin Nola, who slipped. Nick Martini then blooped a single to left, and Greenwood followed with a shot down the third-base line, scoring both.
Memphis sealed the victory with three runs on one hit in the eighth.
Cosart hits DL
The Miami Marlins placed pitcher Jarred Cosart on the disabled list and replaced him with pitcher Pat Urckfitz.
Cosart was taken out of Friday’s game after 1.1 innings when he became disoriented. He was helped from the field by manager Andy Haines and trainer Chris Olson.
The concern was that vertigo had resurfaced for Cosart, who had been on the disabled list with the ailment from May 21 until the first week of July. He went through a battery of tests Sunday, and Haines said “(the doctors) didn’t find anything.”
He was to have more tests done Monday and had a 4:45 p.m. doctor’s appointment. Near Monday’s 6 p.m. gametime start, a Marlins official said Cosart was on the DL.
Cosart (0-1, 6.06 ERA) made four starts with the Zephyrs spanning 16.1 innings, allowing 11 runs on 21 hits. Urckfitz was 0-4 with a 5.40 ERA in 22 games spanning 28.1 innings when he was placed on the DL on July 4.
Solving the riddle
The Zephyrs have led the Pacific Coast League in ERA all season. But after having success against Z’s pitchers in their series that ended Sunday, Colorado Springs manager Rick Sweet said patience is key.
“We went against three really good pitchers,” he said. “You have to make them work. I thought we did a good job of getting into the count, making them pitch.”
The Sky Sox went against Jose Urena, Cosart, All-Star selection Adam Conley and Kendry Flores in the series. They scored five, eight, two and three runs, which proved to be enough against the offensively challenged Zephyrs.
More importantly, with a higher pitch count, teams can more quickly get to the Zephyrs bullpen, which is not as formidable.